Board Members

Barry Smith, President

B.A, Dip. Ed, GAICD.
Elected member.

Barry has had a varied career as a teacher, teacher union official, government adviser and business owner.

Christine Stewart, Vice President

B.A., Dip. Ed.
Represents Australian Education Union (Secondary).

Christine was a secondary teacher for over 20 years, including roles as Student Welfare Coordinator. Christine also held the role of deputy secretary at the AEU for 12 years and served as a director of VicSuper for over 10 years.

Cheryle Osborne

PhD, MEPA, MEPI, B Ed Dip. Teach (Primary) Represents the Victorian Principals Association (VPA).

Cheryle has over 35 years’ experience in Victorian government schools and is currently Principal of Aspendale Gardens Primary School. Cheryle has been a member of the VPA for 23 years and a VPA Board Member for the past 13 years.

Colin Axup

B.A (Hons), Dip. Ed, Grad. Dip Strategic Studies.
Represents Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals (VASSP).

Colin began teaching at Melbourne High School in 1992.  Colin’s career has seen him appointed at several secondary schools in Victoria, most recently as principal of Suzanne Cory High School, the newest of Victoria’s select entry high schools.

In his time as principal, Colin has been most interested in the role of leadership in transforming schools. He believes that professional organisations play an important role in the work of a principal and he assumed the position of President of the Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals in March 2021, having been the Deputy President since 2018.

Esther Wood

T.P.T.C.; B. Ed, Grad Dip. Special Education. Elected member.

Esther has been a member of the VPA for over 20 years and member of Principal Class for 24 years. Recipient of Principal of the Year Award 2014, Medal of the Order of Australia 2015. Esther is currently Principal of Burwood Heights Primary School.

Hacia Atherton

Elected member.

Hacia Atherton is an industry thought leader in courage; she is passionate about how Positive Psychology can empower the next generation of leaders to achieve their remarkable potential. As an entrepreneur, Hacia focuses on inspiring people to overcome their adversities through her Courage Coaching and Speaking. As the CEO & Founding Director of Empowered Women in Trades, she is redefining how trade-based industries in Australia attract, support and retain females within careers in skilled trades.

John Hurley

B.A. Commerce, B. Ed, Certificate Counselling & Psychotherapy.
Elected member.

John has been a Principal for 33 years in state schools, working across 14 different schools and is currently Principal of Thomas Mitchell Primary School in Endeavour Hills.

Maria Shearn

M. Student Welfare, Grad Dip. Multicultural Education, Dip. Ed.
Represents Australian Education Union (Primary).

Maria has over 30 years’ experience in Victorian Government schools and is currently the Principal at East Bentleigh Primary School. Maria has been an AEU member for 30 years and a State Schools’ Relief Board member since 2013. Maria is passionate about inclusive education.

Robyn Wilson

D. Bus. Admin.
Represents Business Managers Victoria.

Robyn has worked for 20 years as a business manager and has served on the SSR Board since early 2015.

Sean Collier

Elected member.

Sean is a senior risk professional with 30+ years managing financial and non-financial risks.

Having worked as a senior manager for large financial services firms across Australia, Singapore and the Pacific, he has extensive experience in corporate governance, risk strategy, assurance, internal audit and regulatory compliance.  Sean currently works as a risk management and compliance consultant covering both the private and public sectors.

Susan Mann

B.A., Dip. Ed., GAICD.
Elected member.

Sue has worked in education in Victoria, nationally and internationally, as a secondary teacher, teacher educator, policy analyst and senior administrator for over 40 years. Over the last 20 years, she has developed extensive experience in managing not-for-profit companies owned by the Australian Ministers for Education, as Chief Operating Officer of the Learning Federation and Chief Executive Officer of Curriculum Corporation and its successor, Education Services Australia.

Tony Ross

M. Ed. Admin, Dip. Ed.
Elected member.

Tony has held many senior positions in education, is a Board member of Bendigo Bank and Vice President of Pakenham Living Learning Centre.

Wilma Culton

B. Ed, M. Ed.
Elected member.

Wilma is currently Principal of Serpell Primary School in Templestowe. She holds special interest in International Education, International Standards and Accreditation of Schools with a strong focus on development of students with a positive contribution as global citizens.